Introduction to Cryptography -- MATH/CMSC 456
This course is an undergraduate introduction to cryptography, whose
aim is to present the theoretical foundations of
cryptosystems used in the real world.
This course complements Computer and Network Security (CMSC 414), whose coverage of cryptography focuses more on its applications; in this class, we will look "under the hood" to get a better understanding of various cryptographic primitives, algorithms, attacks, and protocols.
The course will be similar, though not identical, to my previous offering of this course.
The required textbook for this course is Introduction to Modern Cryptography, 2nd edition.
The second edition of the book is required.
Exams in this class will be "open book" but electronics will not be allowed; therefore, students are advised to purchase a hardcopy edition of the textbook and not use an electronic version including
illegal versions found online. Note also that illegal copies of the book available online often do not match the printed edition (especially when it comes to the exercices); the instructor will not be responsible for any deviations in content.
This course has a significant mathematical component.
No advanced mathematics background is assumed, but students are expected to have "mathematical maturity" since many of the concepts will be abstract, rigorous definitions and proofs will be given, and some advanced mathematics (group theory, number theory) will be covered.
Basic background in discrete mathematics (probability, modular arithmetic) and analysis of algorithms (big-O notation, reading pseudocode) is assumed.
Moreover, the homeworks in this course will require programming.
The choice of language is flexible, but C/C++/java or python are recommended.
Moreover, some homeworks will have a networking component with the networking code provided for you in a particular language. It is assumed you can pick up what is needed in order to complete the assignments.
Finally, this course will require significant work outside of class: in particular, students are expected to read assigned material from the book in advance of lecture, and there will be (programming) assignments roughly every week-and-a-half.
This course will follow all applicable UMD policies and procedures.
After each lecture, I will post a (brief) summary of what we cover, and provide references to relevant sections of the book, here.
- Homework 2 has been released on ELMS.
- My course on Coursera provides a useful resource for learning about much of the material presented in class.
- I have registered the course on Piazza. Please ask questions about the lectures/homeworks there, and check frequently for announcements.
- Instructor: Professor Jonathan Katz (jkatz AT cs). Office: 3415 A.V. Williams Building. Office hours: Monday 1-2 and Wednesday 3:15-4:15. (If you plan to come to office hours, please email me in advance to let me know.)
- Teaching Assistants:
- Neal Gupta (ngupta.teaching AT gmail). Office hours: Tuesday 10:30-12:30 in AVE 4101.
- Aaron Hall (amh620 AT gmail). Office hours: Thursday 1-3 in AVW 4101.
- The class meets Monday and Wednesday from 2:00 - 3:15 in ESJ 2212.
- This course will enforce a no-laptop policy (unless they are being used as part of an in-class assignment). You will also be asked to put away any cellphones or other electronic devices during class, unless they are being used for in-class quizzes.
- For excused absences or to reschedule an exam, please email the instructor.
- Grading will be based on weekly in-class quizzes (5%), homeworks assigned throughout the course (25%), a midterm (35%), and a final exam (35%). The plus/minus grading system will be used.
- The final exam is (tentatively) scheduled on May 16 at 1:30.
- The final course grade is not curved. What this means is that there is no predetermined percentage of students who will get As, Bs, Cs, etc. Instead, every student's final grade is determined by how well he or she is able to demonstrate his/her understanding of the material.
This also means that students in the class are not competing with each other.
- Homework submissions will be done electronically using Canvas.
- You may collaborate on the homeworks with at most one other student in the class. Each student must independently write up their own solutions/code, and must list the other student (if any) with whom they collaborated.
- You may consult outside references when doing the homework, as long as these sources are properly referenced, you write up the solution yourself, and you understand the answer. You may not borrow code from other sites without the permission of the instructor.
- No extensions will be granted without a valid excuse (e.g., religious/medical considerations), which should be discussed with the instructor in advance whenever possible.
- Check the course homepage frequently for announcements
and to follow the updated syllabus.